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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of family law issues.
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A friend of my wife died recently and my wife has been left

Resolved Question:

A friend of my wife died recently and my wife has been left some items in the will. However the executor has been rather evasive and I believe deceitful in passing on the details of the will to my wife. As my wife has not had sight of the will, can you tell me if she has the right to obtain a copy, or at least have sight of the document?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Do you know whether probate has been granted yet?

Customer:

I dont know, but the will has been read so would that suggest that it is not going to probate?

tdlawyer :

They may have to go to probate still.

tdlawyer :

If a grant of probate has been made, then you can obtain a copy of the will from the Probate Registry.

tdlawyer :

You would complete Form PA1S and send it off. The form and details to do that are here: http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate/copies-of-grants-wills

tdlawyer :

If it has not yet gone through probate, then you can do what's called a standing search, which will give you notification of probate being granted once it goes through the system. The Court would effectively contact you.

Customer:

What factors determine wether the will goes to probate?

tdlawyer :

Usually, it only avoids probate if the estate is very small, i.e.g under £5,000. Over that, it must go to probate.

tdlawyer :

Some organisations simply will not deal with people unless there is probate, especially where you have stocks and shares, property or life assurance policies etc...

tdlawyer :

In that case it must go to probate.

Customer:

There is a house to be sold, so it will be over £5000. However my wife was told by the deceased that most of the estate was going to charity. My wife and the executor were told verbally by the deceased that the could "help themselves" to any orniments and jewelry etc that the wanted, Most of it is of little moneytery value but has sentimental value. The executor went to the deceaseds house and chose the items she wanted without my wifes knowledge and has left a few bags of item which she does not want for my wife.

tdlawyer :

Okay, well if goods are left to her in the will, they belong immediately to her. So she could apply to the court if needs be to have goods left to her handed over. However, she really needs to know what's in the will first. The executor should reveal it, but if not, try the probate registry first.

Customer:

We have no way of knowing how many item that the executor has taken, and we dont know if anything was itemised in the will.

tdlawyer :

Yes, these types of cases can be difficult for this reason. However, you can apply to the Court if you have evidence suggesting of the executor doing something that he/she shouldn't be doing, or where he/she isn't executing the will properly.

Customer:

Am i right in thinking that although my wife has been left something in the will, she has no automatic right to view said will? Surely this leaves the execution of the will open to abuse?

Customer:

Who does have a right to view the will?

tdlawyer :

Yes, but if she has grounds to believe something has been left to her, she could ask the Court to make an order to release the will to her.

tdlawyer :

A will is a public document once it goes through probate, until that time, the executors only have a right to it.

tdlawyer :

In truth though, like I said, the Court is likely to order it be disclosed in appropriate cases.

Customer:

Ok thanks for your help.

tdlawyer :

Thank you! Is there anything else I can assist you with?

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: Lawyer with 9 years experience of family law issues.
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